It doesn't just happen to social groups or in politics, by the way. I think about the entry I just posted, and the really unflattering comparisons about "S." Lady Elaine Fairchild, indeed.
This thought struck me as I was reading through some other posts, and I realized that I'm not the only one. Why does it seem that the tendency is, the minute someone voices an opinion different than one that you might have, the immediate response is to call them an idiot, rather than try and find the grains of truth that may exist in the criticism itself?
People even do this for, of all things, popular culture. I mean, seriously, how stupid is that? Pop culture is, by its nature, disposable. Unless it's your own work, how can you possible proclaim a jihad in the name of Britney Spears or Desperate Housewives (to pick just two rather extreme examples)? People can like something or not, and the fact that someone's opinion is different than yours is nothing more than just that...a difference of opinion. Regardless of whether you consider that person's opinion contrary to yours, or ill formed, or whatever, the truth is, it's far from a life or death situation. But perhaps it could be the starting point of an honest, interesting discussion.
It's just too bad that so many people (myself included, sometimes) feel the need to have a knee jerk reaction on so many things that are essentially momentary pockets of joy and entertainment.